Buoy Rep Challenge

Tuesday, October 17 2023

Jenni Lynn and Chris are back with more friendly competition in the pool. This time, they face off armed with one foam dumbbell each, performing “as many reps as possible” (AMRAP) for 1 minute, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Join them in this 15-minute buoy challenge and see how many reps you can get. 

Buoy Blast features five exercises performed with a single buoy, first on the right side and then on the left. AMRAP training is a fun way to challenge yourself by seeing how many reps you can get in a set amount of time. Jenni Lynn and Chris are the water fitness couple extraordinaire and Poolfit subscribers have been enjoying their workouts over the last few years, including two other 15-minute AMRAP challenges, Core with LaCour and Best of AMRAP S’WET.

First and foremost, Buoy Blast is a quick 15-minute cardio blast that drives up the heart rate with a competitive spirit that motivates you to see how many reps you can get in each 1-minute exercise, competing against yourself or with your training buddies. This workout features unilateral training with a single buoy (foam dumbbell).  Five exercises are performed on the right side, followed by five exercises on the left side. Unilateral buoy training is excellent for correcting muscle imbalances and improving core strength. 

This workout was designed to be performed with a single foam dumbbell. However, if you do not have the buoys, you could cut a noodle into quarters or just go without any equipment. Obviously, the exercises would have to be adapted to suit these options. Hopefully as a Poolfit subscriber, you are starting to feel more empowered to modify exercises to suit your abilities, goals, water depth or available equipment. If you have webbed gloves or Aqualogix equipment, feel free to substitute, but again, the exercise will have to be adapted. Over time, consider using various options to mix it up and achieve different fitness results. 

Choosing the correct buoy size is essential for achieving a safe and effective workout. Lightweight on land, the foam dumbbells generate a great deal of resistance once they are pushed below the surface of the water. This occurs when they encounter the upward force of buoyancy. The larger the buoy, the greater the force.  Small to medium sized buoys are best for pool workouts where you are doing moves at a faster cardio clip. The PoolFit Gear Shop does include some smaller options, including the Thera-Band Light Hand Bars

Avoid gripping on to buoys for an entire workout or class. Hand breaks are essential. Ideally, the buoys should be alternated with exercises where hand-held equipment is not used so that the hands get a break. Buoy Blast includes a 30-second recovery period after each exercise, which gives the hands a break from gripping. Excessive gripping can cause discomfort and even pain for people with arthritic hands or wrists. Prolonged gripping can also elevate blood pressure.

Foam dumbbells cannot be inserted into any pool workout. A water workout must be specifically designed for their shape, size and the interaction with the upward forces of buoyancy. As an instructor, it would irk me when class participants would try to use foam dumbbells in my choreographed, fast-paced aerobic classes that were not intended for the use of hand-held equipment. Frustrated, I even wrote an article about my ongoing battle with students over foam dumbbells.
Below, WATCH an extended tutorial on the use of foam dumbbells, including safety tips on buoy size, gripping and modifications. 



Poolfit extends a big thank you to Jenni Lynn and Chris for providing a solid workout and entertaining us with their fun competitive banter.  Stay tuned, another 15-minute video with both of them, Deep AMRAP Core, will be posting later this fall. 
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Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.